If you are into food and community, this blog is for you. It is built around a 65-year-old cookbook (nearing a half million in sales) that has been rebirthed and relaunched for 2015—complete with all the social media tools that the author did not have 65 years ago when creating the original cookbook. Plus, it’s a place to have fun with cooking and community connections.

And did we mention great cookbook giveaways every week for a year!

(Yes, we’re completely giddy about this endeavor!)

So whether you are a foodie, a cookbook collector, a Mennonite, a spiritual seeker, a lover of everything vintage or mid-century, a devotee of potlucks, a purveyor of fine dining, or curious about how you can take farmer food from the ’50s and fix it in Manhattan or Mogadishu in 2015 and beyond, this blog is for you!

Who is Mary Emma Showalter?

Mary Emma ShowalterMary Emma Showalter compiled favorite recipes from hundreds of Mennonite women across the United States and Canada noted for their excellent cooking into this book of more than 1,100 recipes.

She was the founder of the home economics department at Eastern Mennonite University, where she taught from 1946–1972. She authored this 1950 cookbook because “a cookbook of favorite recipes of Mennonite families had never been published.” She grew up near Broadway, Virginia, in a Mennonite farm family of nine children. But she was much more than a home economics professor and cookbook compiler. She was an innovator and trailblazer for other women. Much more history is available in the book.

What is Mennonite Community Cookbook?

Cover of Mennonite Community CookbookA traditional, comprehensive mid-century cookbook of 1100 favorite recipes, cooking tips and food history by Mennonite families from all over the U.S. and Canada. This “mother of all Mennonite cookbooks” brings a touch of Mennonite culture and hospitality to any home that relishes great cooking.

These tantalizing dishes came to this country directly from Dutch, German, Swiss, and Russian kitchens. Old fashioned cooking and traditional Mennonite values are woven throughout. Original directions like “a dab of cinnamon” or “ten blubs of molasses” have been standardized to help you get the same wonderful individuality and flavor. Mary Emma introduces each chapter with her own nostalgic recollection of cookery in grandma’s day—the pie shelf in the springhouse, outdoor bake ovens, the summer kitchen.

First published in 1950, Mennonite Community Cookbook has become a treasured part of many family kitchens. Parents who received the cookbook when they were first married make sure to purchase it for their own sons and daughters when they wed. It was published originally by a group called Mennonite Community Association in Scottdale, Pennsylvania, in conjunction with The John C. Winston Company. In 1970 Herald Press became the publisher.